A DOG which bit a young girl twice in the space of five months has been spared its life after an expert trainer deemed the animal’s behaviour ‘impeccable’.
District Judge Nigel Cadbury instead put a contingent destruction order in place on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier for it to be muzzled at all times in a public place, kept on a lead a maximum of six foot, to be neutered and not to be left in the control of someone under the age of 18 either in public or private.
Other conditions included when the dog, Buster, is taken out for walks it must be one adult to one dog and he has to be placed in a collapsible crate when anyone under the age of 14 is at his Malvern home.
On Saturday, July 19, the two-year-old girl, who can not be named for legal reasons, was at an address in Pound Bank Road when she bent down to touch the dog and it bit her right cheek, Worcester Magistrates Court heard last Friday (February 6).
The victim was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital and required eight stitches.
Police were contacted by the hospital because it was the second time the dog had attacked the youngster, the first being in February last year when she fell on him, the court was also told.
Owner Michael Nash, of Pound Bank Road, pleaded guilty to being in possession of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury at an original hearing on December 5 and was told by District Judge Cadbury the case had to be adjourned to prove the dog was not a danger to public safety.
But expert dog trainer David Stevens said Buster had passed the test with perfect behaviour and was not classed as a threat.
“Of the 458 assessments I have done this is only the 113 time I have been prepared to come to court and provide the court with my assessment of that dog,” Mr Stevens said.
“Having visited the house and spoken to the owners at great length, if I had any doubt I would have told them at the very beginning.
“I am very harsh and take no prisoners, it is 100 per cent pass or nothing.”
Nash, 67, was also handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for the offence and was ordered to pay £1,076.20 in vet and kennel costs as well as a £80 victim surcharge.
District Judge Cadbury added: “Although the dog behaved perfectly (on the course) there have been two occasions where it has bitten a child.
“He (Nash) did not respond to a warning of a previous bite and he did not prevent it from happening again so I have to take that into consideration.”